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Five taken to hospital following helicopter crash

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Rescue Coordination Centre NZ coordinated the response to a commercial helicopter that crashed with five people on board 35 kilometres North-East of Waiouru this morning.

The helicopter was undertaking a commercial survey operation in the area. At 8.50 am, RCCNZ received an alert from the ELT distress beacon on board, providing a location at Oturua Stream.

RCCNZ Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Dave Wilson said another helicopter from the same company was initially sent to provide a fast, initial response to determine the situation, with the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter from Taupo arriving on scene soon after to provide medical care.

"Distress beacons can summon life-saving help to people who need it and get them to hospital faster. In this particular case, the alert from the distress beacon was the only notification that the aircraft had crashed."

One person was in a critical condition, two were in a serious condition and two others had suffered less serious injuries.

RCCNZ tasked two additional rescue helicopters with intensive care paramedics; one from the Hawkes Bay Helicopter Rescue Trust and the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter. All patients have been taken to hospital.

"Our thoughts are with the injured passengers and we wish them a successful recovery," Wilson said.

The circumstances around the crash are still being established and TAIC are investigating.

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